Monday, October 05, 2009

White cop shot dead after warning robber three times

Any amendments to the so-called shooting law will come too late for a policeman from Pretoria.

His verbal warning to a robber to drop his weapon probably cost him his life over the weekend.

Captain Charl Scheepers, the operational commander of crime prevention at the Brooklyn police station in Pretoria,
apparently warned a robber three times to drop his weapon on Saturday night before the robber shot him twice in the stomach. Scheepers fired no shots.

The issue around when police members were allowed to shoot criminals is currently being debated by Bheki Cele, the national police chief, Nathi Mthethwa, the minister of police, and President Jacob Zuma.

The three leaders agreed that Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act, also known as the "shooting law", should be amended to prevent police members from losing their lives unnecessarily.

Robbery

Scheepers and two colleagues reacted to a complaint at a construction site in Lynnwood at about 23:00 on Saturday evening. Police spokesperson, Sergeant Lynnette Erasmus, said Scheepers and his colleagues heard from inside the property how doors were being broken down.

"The captain peered around the corner and saw a suspect or suspects. Only he (Scheepers) would know how many people were there," said Erasmus.

"He warned the suspect to put down his firearm. That is when they shot him."

He was shot twice in the stomach.

"I've been shot, I've been shot!" Scheepers apparently told colleagues before he stumbled a few metres and fell down, said director André Wiese, station commander of the Brooklyn police station.

One of Scheepers's colleagues tried to stop the bleeding while his other colleague chased after the robber and his accomplices.

Scheeper died a few hours later in hospital due to his injuries.
Arrests

Erasmus said a police helicopter was immediately called to the scene.

The helicopter staff and police officers on the ground arrested 11 suspects.

One of them was arrested formally on Sunday after he allegedly confessed to his involvement in the incident. The rest were set free.

Blood was apparently found on the suspect as well as clothes fitting a description given to police. It would be part of the police investigation whether this man pulled the trigger.

Scheepers's colleagues and community members found the murder weapon on Sunday afternoon in grass near the scene.

Jean-Jacques Scheepers, 18, said on Sunday that his mother, Anna-Marie, had informed him shortly after the shooting that his father had been shot. His sister, Liza- MarĂ­, 11, was at their home in Lynnwood and his brother, Armand, 14, was at a church event near Pretoria.

Son 'cried and was angry'

Jean-Jacques immediately went to the hospital where he stayed until his father - "who was made to be a policeman" - died at about 01:45.

When he received the call about his father, he "firstly hoped he wouldn't die".

"I cried and was angry because they had shot him."

"Since then everyone has been calling to hear if he was the one who was shot. Then I have to tell them my father passed away."

Computer equipment that was stolen during the robbery was later found near the scene of the crime. - Beeld

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